For the past two months, we’ve been hosting weekly pizza parties. Well, truth be told, they have been competitive throw downs where our friends are invited to say goodbye to the week that was and bring their best recipes to battle it out for the pizza crown. We’ve had some pretty fantastic creations. After 8 weeks though, inspiration begins to wane. So we were quite excited to hear of the tastespotting.com Johnsonville Italian Sausage competition. Inspiration, the chance to get our pizza on our favorite food porn site AND the likelihood (albeit remote) of winning a food making competition. How could we not be excited?
Anders had this one on his mind for a whole week and came up with this creation: Johnsonville Italian Sausage Pizza with roasted garlic, Portobello mushrooms and topped with parmesan crisps and toasted pine nuts. Does it get any crazier than this? We hope you like it, and if you do please vote for us when the time comes.
This sandwich is an imprompty improvisation made from ingredients we found around the house. The roast pork is from the night before as is the tabouleh. The Italian Salsa Verde is from our wedding, where is was both served for dinner and given as a gift to the guests. The Swiss chard is from our vegetable garden, and the roasted garlic- well let us just say we make sure never to run out of roasted garlic.
Pesto is a wonderful spread or topping for sandwiches and appetizer, in addition to its obvious uses in pasta. It’s very easy to make yourself, and when our sweet basil plant starts to grow out of hand we always have a use for the basil. If you live near a well stocked grocery store (We have Trader Joe’s here in California), look for a bag of basil and try this yourself if you don’t have the plants.
3 cups of rinsed fresh basil leaves.
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of pine nuts
3 garlic cloves
Start by placing the garlic cloves in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the pieces are as small as they can get. Add the basil and pine nuts, and pulse again. Add the olive oil slowly while running the food processor, and finally add the cheese.
Tip: The Simply Recipies blog has excellent advice for freezing fresh pesto, plus a slightly different version. In general don’t sweat the exact measurements, but try and taste it and adjust. The quality of the basil can vary over the course of the year, or from region to region, so you may need to add more or less cheese and olive oil.
It’s easy to buy hummus in a store, but it’s almost as easy to make it, and much more fun. This is a call to action; stop buying hummus!
All it takes to make are chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini and garlic. Plus, add sun-dried tomatoes and you have sun dried tomato hummus. We use fresh cilantro or parsley as a topping, with a few roasted pine nuts, and you got yourself a really affordable and amazing appetizer dip. Naturally, we will be using some of this on our upcoming sandwiches :-).